Barcelona is a city where you’ll walk all day round without having the urge to return to your accommodation until sunset or late at night. So, whenever deciding on what to wear in Barcelona, the first thing to consider is flexibility and comfort. Think of it as a mixture of stylish and comfortable clothes, with a couple of essentials like an emergency umbrella and a few layers for unpredictable weather in spring.
Packing list for Barcelona – the essentials
When traveling to a country, I always advise packing as light as possible, and Barcelona is no exception. Whether flying into Barcelona or taking a train/bus from other European cities, a light suitcase or backpack gives you flexibility and avoids extra costs for overweight luggage in the airports.
Backpack or suitcase? – both Oto and I travel with backpacks anywhere we go as it is much more comfortable for us, especially in the hilly or unpaved areas. Moreover, I find dragging a rolling suitcase makes me walk slower and is very noisy in the cobbled streets.
I have a 55 Liter Osprey Farpoint, and Oto has Cobra 60 from The North Face. Both of them are spacious but small enough to carry it on-board of WizzAir, Vueling, or Pegasus, for instance.
Day pack or purse/bag – besides your main bag or suitcase, I would recommend bringing a small bag to use when exploring Barcelona. My Osprey backpack comes with a daypack that Oto uses most of the time. It has several compartments, so we carry essential and valuable items with us. I bring a small red backpack or a canvas tote just in case.
Scarf – I rarely travel without a scarf, no matter the season. However, depending on the season, I change it accordingly. I use it on breezy evenings, for sun-protection, pillow, you name it.
Hat – if you’ve been following my travels here or over Instagram, you know that one thing I rarely travel without is my red fedora hat. Whether you come here in summer, spring, or autumn, bring any kind of hat. It’s valuable both in sunny and rainy weather.
Luggage tag – even if you are not checking in your luggage, it’s always a good idea to have a luggage tag on them.
Packing cubes – this is a live saver when traveling light and minimalist. They come in different sizes and shapes, and some even have a laundry bag too. We use packing cubes for various clothes, especially for those clothes that wrinkle easily. We use small ones for socks and underwear.
Toiletries bag – we travel with one toiletry bag as we don’t use that many liquids and hygiene products that would require two separate bags. We now use solid shampoo bars and soaps that are zero waste, lighter, and avoids a headache from pouring the liquids into small plastic bottles. Moreover, the transition to solid hygiene products ensures that we go through airport security a lot easier.
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Power adapter – sockets in Barcelona and Spain are standard, just like in Europe, some parts of Asia, and Australia. They are 230 volts and 50 Hz frequency.
Water bottle – tap water is absolutely safe to drink in Barcelona. However, bringing your own water bottle and refilling it will not only save you some money, but you’ll also act as a responsible traveler and won’t add your footprint to the fragile environment all over the globe. Battery charger – Barcelona is a very photogenic city, and you’ll be exhausting your smartphone battery very soon, taking pictures literally in every corner. Moreover, using maps also drains the phone battery, so bring an external charger to keep you on the go at all times.
USB – if you need to print your documents, like passport, visa, boarding pass, and driver’s license, to name a few.
Weather in Barcelona in spring
Barcelona in spring sees temperatures warming up a little. However, days are still cooler, especially in March. Therefore when deciding on what to wear in Barcelona in spring, you need to be prepared for both sunny and occasional rainy days.
The average temperature in Barcelona in spring ranges between 12-23 C. March is milder with cold mornings and a bit warmer days. The beginning of April is still cool, but it starts to get warmer and lovelier. It’s also when flowers begin to bloom, and the city becomes even more beautiful. However, note that it’s still not warm enough to enjoy the dip in the sea.
The weather gets much warmer in May; however, it’s characterized by occasional rainy days too.
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What to wear in Barcelona in spring
We all have our core packing list; therefore, this post won’t include how many pairs of underwear, socks, or t-shirts you should bring. Instead, I advise you on what to wear in Barcelona depending on the weather and the city’s culture.
When creating your Barcelona packing list, the key is to bring outfits that are classic, stylish, and colorful. Barcelona is a modern city; therefore, both women and men always look put together, so don’t stick with neutral and minimalist clothes, but spice it up with a pop of color or even eclectic pieces. If you plan on dressing up in the evenings, don’t forget fancier makeup and jewelry.
Dress code in Barcelona
Even though Barcelona is a very touristic city and the locals are used to seeing tourists in all sorts of clothes, generally speaking, the Catalonia region still values modesty, and some tend to dress accordingly.
You’ll see the older generation wearing neutral and basic colors, while youngers prefer semi-casual clothes like T-shirts, leather jacket, jeans, and comfortable shoes, for instance. You’ll also notice that locals have a weak spot for designer clothes too.
Visiting churches and cathedrals
Spain is a religious country, and the church still plays an integral part of many Spaniards. Therefore, when visiting churches and cathedrals in Barcelona, be respectful and don’t wear shorts, tank tops, or any revealing clothes. When entering Barcelona Cathedral, men should wear long pants, and women should cover their shoulders and head.
When wandering through the streets of Barcelona, avoid wearing casual shorts and save them for the beach. Wearing shorts and mini skirts in the city will give you away as a tourist and will be an easy target for Barcelona’s famous pickpockets. Instead, opt-in for a dress, skirt, or loose-fitting pants; they will also protect you from the sun.
Also, wearing a bumbag in Barcelona should be avoided. They are indeed helpful, but they can also be easily removed by thieves too.
Barcelona packing list for spring
As I mentioned above, when thinking of what to wear in Barcelona, consider bringing layers, so it’s easy to take off a jacket or a cardigan during the day.
- Lightweight coat or jacket – you’ll be fine with a spring/autumn light coat or jacket during the day, especially in early mornings when visiting iconic sites like Sagrada Familia, Park Guell, and Casa Milla, for instance.
- Shoes or sneakers – you’ll be walking pretty much the whole day, so bring your walking shoes that are the most comfortable and won’t hurt your feet.
- Scarf or shawl – pack a warmish scarf or shawl for visiting churches and cathedrals. These also come in handy in the evenings and mornings when the temperatures are still cooler.
- Dresses – pack a couple of spring/autumn dresses for those gorgeous photos to take in Barcelona.
- Cardigan or sweatshirt – layering clothes in Barcelona is the key during spring.
- Jeans – pack one pair of jeans.
- Light tights – as the weather in Barcelona in spring is still not warm enough to walk around bare-legged, bring light tights to wear under the dresses.
- Umbrella or a rain jacket – through either one in your day bag just in case it suddenly starts to rain.
Prepare for the trip
To ease your travel planning, check out all the posts about Spain travel. Additionally, here are some of the websites and services I use when preparing for my next adventure anywhere in the world.
- Book affordable flights on Skyscanner, a platform that shows the best routes and flight deals to your destination. There’s a money-back guarantee if you miss the flight!
- Check iVisa to see if you need a tourist visa to visit Spain, how to apply online if applicable, or where’s the nearest embassy or consulate
- Find budget-friendly deals on all sorts of accommodation types on Booking and Agoda
- Pre-book a private transfer or buy bus tickets from Barcelona Airport to your hotel
- Buy the most flexible and budget-friendly travel insurance, SafetyWing, to cover all sorts of health problems on the road
- Book in advance some of the best city walks, cultural experiences, and day tours to maximize your stay and experience here